Pharmacological reperfusion therapy for acute myocardial infarction with intravenous fibrinolytic agents improves survival yet fails to achieve early and complete coronary blood flow in nearly half of treated patients. In principle, glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa inhibitors, potent antiplatelet agents, might improve the efficacy and clinical outcomes associated with fibrinolysis. Preclinical research suggests more rapid and effective reperfusion with combined platelet GP IIb/IIIa inhibition and fibrinolysis. Early clinical studies confirm improved early patency and more rapid electrocardiographic resolution, but increased bleeding complications, with the addition of GP IIb/IIIa antagonists to conventional fibrinolysis. Future studies may combine reduced-dose fibrinolytic therapy with GP IIb/IIIa inhibition to optimize efficacy and safety.
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View details for PubMedID 10373717